When someone is made to feel horrible about themselves because of how their body appears, feels, or is shaped, this is known as body shaming. Disparaging words, teasing, bullying, or even discriminatory actions could all be used. Body shaming can significantly negatively impact a person's self-esteem, mental health, and general well-being.
Body shaming stems from various sources, including social conventions, cultural influences, and personal experiences. Among the main factors are:
The expectations of society: Individuals who fall short of these norms may feel unworthy or inadequate. An organisation usually promotes unattainable beauty standards and ambitions. This pressure to fit in might result in body shaming since people may feel forced to criticise themselves or others who do not fulfil these standards.
Media and advertising: The media aggressively pushes certain body types and aesthetic ideals, typically depicting a slim or muscular physique as the pinnacle of beauty. People's perceptions of what is "normal" or "beautiful" may change due to this representation, which may cause body shaming of those who don't conform to the ideal.
Cultural influences: People from different cultures may have different expectations for beauty, which could result in body shame. In some cultures, having a larger body size may signify wealth and prosperity, while in others, being slim may be highly valued. These cultural norms may have an impact on how people perceive their own bodies as well as those of others.
Peer and family pressure: Family members and peers might contribute to body-shaming through their comments, deeds, or expectations. For instance, if a parent continuously berates their child about their weight or appearance, the child may take these cues to heart and begin to feel self-conscious about their appearance.
Personal experiences: Bullying, mocking, or discrimination based on looks can result in body shaming. These events may make people feel self-conscious or ashamed of their bodies, which can lead to the development of eating disorders or a negative body image.
Body shaming is a complex issue with societal, cultural, and personal roots. Questioning and redefining beauty standards, embracing body diversity, and fostering an accepting and self-loving culture are all required to prevent body shaming.
With these 6 ways, it's time to combat body shame and its psychological implications.
Find the source of your critical self-talk.
Finding the origin of the self-defeating thoughts is the first step. Social media, friends, family, and society often internalise negative reviews. You can begin challenging and altering these bad ideas by knowing their sources.
Take a break from social media.
Social media can be a haven for fat shaming and unrealistic aesthetic standards. You may protect yourself from negative messages and focus more on your own sense of worth by logging off social networks. Spend this time getting to know and liking yourself.
Stop contrasting yourself with others.
Stop comparing yourself to others, even if it's just in your head. Comparison steals joy. Because everyone is different, it's crucial to concentrate on your own journey rather than constantly comparing yourself to others. Accept your uniqueness and let go of the notion that you must fit a specific mould to be liked and respected.
Make objectives for yourself, but be patient.
Setting goals for self-improvement is a great way to boost your self-esteem, but keep in mind that change takes time. Be kind to yourself and acknowledge even the most minor triumphs. Keep pushing forward with your ambitions when things are complex, and don't give up.
Maintain both your physical and mental well-being.
Physical and mental self-care go hand in hand. You can feel better about your body and improve your mental health by exercising frequently, eating healthfully, and getting enough sleep. In pursuing your objectives, be gentle and remember that self-care is a continuous process.
Be around exceptional individuals.
Your self-esteem may be significantly impacted by the individuals you hang out with. Instead of being around people who will undermine you, try to be around positive people. Choose family members and friends who will inspire you to be your best self and who will recognise your achievements.
Body shame-related self-esteem problems take time to overcome.
Yet, if you adhere to these suggestions and have a positive outlook, you can get closer to a fuller acceptance of who you are. Remember that you are not walking this route alone. Don't hesitate to call a professional for assistance if needed. Together, we can create a society where everyone is comfortable in their own skin.
About the writer:
The Giggeli Project creates penis shaped design objects to break taboos and provoke discussion on genitalia. The idea behind the project is to create products that playfully highlight everyday issues and make us think differently about them.